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The thirteen original British colonies in North America, some formed

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GMAT Club Verbal Expert
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Re: The thirteen original British colonies in North America, some formed  [#permalink]

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New post 06 Dec 2019, 19:13
kshitijgarg wrote:
GMATNinja wrote:
kshitijgarg wrote:
Hi GMATNinja
what's "its(in the non underlined portion)" is referring to ?

Thanks a lot for your help.
Regards,
Kshitij

Take another look at (A):

    "The thirteen original British colonies in North America, some formed as commercial ventures, others as religious havens, each had a written charter that set forth its form of government..."

We know that "its" must have a singular antecedent, so now we want to scan backwards until we encounter a singular that noun could function logically in place of "its." The first noun we see is "charter," but it wouldn't make any sense to refer to the charter's form for government. A charter can describe a form of government, but it doesn't have one itself. The next singular noun is "each," referring to one of the 13 colonies. Perfectly logical to refer to "each colony's form of government," so we've got our antecedent. Huzzah!

Takeaways: first, we never want to eliminate an answer choice prematurely because of an ambiguous pronoun. (More on that in this video.) Moreover, "its" isn't underlined, so even if we think there's a problem with the construction, we don't have the option of fixing it! Better to focus on the concrete errors we can actually address.

I hope that helps!



Thanks a lot GMATNinja for replying to my post.

i have one more doubt is this sentence. i thought about this question in the following manner :
each had a written charter that set forth its form of government..."
Now here if "That" refers to the "Charter", the how can the verb "set" be right(shouldn't it be "charter that sets forth its "). so i saw the "that set" in the non underlined portion and i thought it has to be "charters"
and in the 3 option that has charters i couldn't find the antecedent for it's in those options.

please point out what is That (following the charter) is referring to? and if that is pointing to charter then how can "that set" be correct?

Thanks a lot for your help.
I have been following your videos (all 3 series on gmatclub) and they are awesome.

Regards,
Kshitij

Thank you for the kind words, Kshitij! Glad to hear that the videos are helping.

"Set" can be either singular or plural depending on the tense. For example:

    "When Tim sets the table, he often gives every place-setting multiple spoons but no knife or fork, a situation that makes it very difficult for his guests to eat steak."

Here, the verb "sets" is present tense and singular, since the subject is Tim. So far so good. But consider another example:

    "Yesterday, Tim set the table..."

Now, "set" is still singular, because Tim again is the subject, but "set" is an action that took place in the past, so this sentence is also correct.

In the OA, we're talking about charters that existed in the past, so we can use "set" as a singular, past-tense verb, with "each" as the subject.

I hope that helps!
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Re: The thirteen original British colonies in North America, some formed   [#permalink] 06 Dec 2019, 19:13

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